Gordon Allport (United States, 1897 – 1967) was a prominent American psychologist who dedicated his life to research on human personality.

Despite his enormous influence in the field of human psychology, Gordon Allport is an often forgotten figure when listing the leading psychologists of the 20th century. Professor of the prestigious Harvard University, among his disciples we can find such famous names as Jerome Bruner, Stanley Milgram or Thomas Pettigrew.

Phrases and famous quotes from Gordon Allport

Nevertheless, Allport’s contributions are invaluable and he is one of the most studied theorists in the Psychology faculties. Several studies place him as the 11th most cited psychologist in the 20th century .

In today’s article we will learn more about psychologist Gordon Allport through his most memorable quotes and phrases.

1. People who are aware or ashamed of their prejudices are also those who are on the way to eliminating them.

In contrast, those who are proud of them are rarely able to see beyond them.

2. The personality “is” and “does”. Personality is what lies behind specific acts and within the individual.

The engine of our behavior and our way of being.

3. If a person is able to rectify his misjudgments in the light of new evidence, then he is not prejudiced. Prejudices only become prejudices if they are reversible when exposed to new knowledge. A prejudice, unlike a simple misconception, is actively resistant to all evidence that would destabilize it. We tend to grow emotionally when a prejudice is threatened by contradiction. Thus, the difference between common errors of judgment and prejudice is that an error of judgment can be discussed and rectified without emotional resistance.

In this famous phrase, Gordon Allport clearly explains the difference between prejudice and errors of judgment.

4. Love, incomparably the best psychotherapeutic agent, is something that professional psychiatry alone cannot create, concentrate or release.

About love’s ability to repair emotional wounds.

5. As supporters of our own lifestyle, we cannot stop thinking in a partisan way.

Another phrase from Gordon Allport that puts the focus on cognitive biases.

6. The theist is convinced that while nothing that contradicts science is likely to be true, nevertheless nothing that stops with science can be the whole truth.

About how beliefs determine our attitudes.

7. The specific objectives we set for ourselves are almost always subsidiary to our long-term intentions. A good parent, a good neighbor, a good citizen, is not good because his or her specific goals are acceptable, but because his or her successive goals are ordered to a reliable and socially desirable set of values.

In this famous quote, Gordon Allport explains how day-to-day actions and goals maintain long-term coherence for each individual and their self-concept.

8. The scientist, by the very nature of his commitment, creates more and more questions, never less. In fact, the measure of our intellectual maturity, a philosopher suggests, is our ability to become less and less satisfied with our answers to better problems.

This is how philosophy advances and, with it, the knowledge we have about reality.

9. Reason adapts impulses and beliefs to the real world. Rationalization, on the other hand, adapts the concept of reality to the impulses and beliefs of the individual. Reasoning discovers the true cause of our actions, rationalization finds good reasons to justify our actions.

Another sentence about the role of our beliefs and our rational apparatus when thinking about our own actions.

10. Frustrated lives have the most character-conditioned hatred.

Do you know the difference between character, personality and temperament? Allport points out a characteristic he observed in many real cases.

11. Open-mindedness is considered a virtue. But, strictly speaking, it cannot happen. A new experience must be lived and assumed in old categories that already exist in our minds. We cannot handle every event by itself. If so, would past experience be useful?

One of the personality traits, openness to experience, and an Allport reflection on how our cognition lives these new realities.

12. There is an anecdote about an Oxford student who once said, “I despise all Americans, but I’ve never met one I don’t like.

Another famous line from Gordon Allport about prejudice.

13. Mature religious feeling is usually formed in the workshop of doubt.

As Carl Gustav Jung would say, religiosity could be the overcompensation of doubt.

14. Each person is a language to himself, an apparent violation of the syntax of the species.

Language and communication were also interesting areas of study for Gordon Allport.

15. Love received and love offered are the best form of therapy.

Can love be a therapeutic tool? Few psychologists doubt it.